Post-Root Canal Care in Etobicoke & Toronto

Endodontic Specialty Group is proud to offer patient-focused root canals at our clinics in Etobicoke and Toronto. Root canals are made simple when you trust our staff and their constant commitment to thorough aftercare. Please download our post-surgery care tips to learn more about how to care for your teeth following endodontic treatment. We also provide extensive endodontic retreatment care.

After your endodontic treatment, a temporary cement seal has been placed in the endodontic opening of your tooth. We would ask that you do not drink or eat for one hour in order for the cement to seal.

The tooth and its surrounding gum tissues may be somewhat tender for up to a week as a result of the previous condition of your tooth and/or the manipulation during treatment. Rinsing with warm saltwater will make the area feel more comfortable. A level teaspoon of salt in a glass of warm tap water is the recommended proportion.

If you have been given a prescription for medication, please take it as directed. Alternatively, you can take two extra strength Tylenol® or Advil tablets every 4 hours or as directed on the bottle.

Do not chew on your tooth as it may be uncomfortable for a few days. If you bite heavily on the tooth, it will increase the risk of fracture before the tooth is properly restored by your dentist. You should continue to brush your teeth as normal.

Should you experience severe pain or if swelling develops, please call our office. Please remember to contact your dentist to let them know your treatment has been completed. It is important to have your tooth restored with a filling and/or crown within 2 to 3 weeks after your endodontic treatment. If your dentist cannot treat you within this time period, it is important that your temporary filling remains in place. If you happen to lose your temporary filling, please give us a call in order to maintain the health and functionality of your tooth. Failing to follow this may result in the loss of the tooth.

Please note that we are available to you after hours and on weekends by calling our office.

With proper care, most teeth that have undergone root canals can last as long as your natural teeth. In some cases, however, a tooth that has received endodontic treatment fails to heal. Occasionally, the tooth becomes painful or diseased months or even years after successful endodontic treatment. If your tooth has failed to heal or develops new problems, you have a second chance at a healthy smile! Another endodontic procedure may be able to save your tooth.

Who Performs Endodontic Retreatments?

Endodontists are dentists with at least two additional years of advanced specialty education in diagnosis and root canal treatment. Because they limit their practice to endodontics, they treat these types of problems every day. Endodontists are experts in performing non-surgical and surgical retreatment. They use their special training and experience in treating difficult cases, such as teeth with narrow or blocked canals or unusual anatomy. Endodontists may use advanced technology, such as operating microscopes, ultrasonics and digital imaging, to perform these special services.

Why Do I Need Another Endodontic Procedure?

As occasionally happens with any dental or medical procedure, a tooth may not heal as expected after initial treatment for a variety of reasons:

  • Narrow or curved canals were not treated during the initial procedure
  • Complicated canal anatomy went undetected in the first procedure
  • The placement of the crown or restoration was delayed following the endodontic treatment
  • The restoration did not prevent salivary contamination to the inside of the tooth

In other cases, a new problem can jeopardize a tooth that was successfully treated. For example:

  • New decay can expose the root canal filling material to bacteria, causing a new infection in the tooth
  • A loose, cracked or broken crown or filling can expose the tooth to a new infection
  • A tooth sustains a fracture

What Happens During Retreatment

First, the endodontist will discuss your treatment options. If you and your endodontist choose retreatment, the endodontist will reopen your tooth to gain access to the root canal filling material. In many cases, complex restorative materials (including the crown, post and core material) must be disassembled and removed to permit access to the root canals.

After removing the canal filling, the endodontist can clean the canals and carefully examine the inside of your tooth using magnification and illumination, searching for any additional canals or unusual anatomy that requires treatment.

After cleaning the canals, the endodontist will fill and seal the canals and place a temporary filling in the tooth. If the canals are unusually narrow or blocked, your endodontist may recommend endodontic surgery. This surgery involves making an incision to allow the tip of the root to be sealed.

After your endodontist completes retreatment, you will need to return to your dentist as soon as possible to have a new crown or other restoration placed on the tooth to protect and restore it to full function.

Is Retreatment the Best Choice for Me?

Whenever possible, it is best to save your natural tooth. Retreated teeth can function well for years, even for a lifetime. Advances in technology are constantly changing the way root canal treatment is performed, so your endodontist may use new techniques that were not available when you had your first procedure. Your endodontist may be able to resolve your problem with retreatment. As with any dentist or medical procedure, there are no guarantees. Your endodontist will discuss your options and the chances of success before beginning retreatment.

How Much Will the Procedure Cost?

The cost varies depending on how complicated the procedure will be. The procedure will probably be more complex than your first root canal treatment because your restoration and filling material may need to be removed to accomplish the new procedure. In addition, your endodontist may need to spend extra time searching for unusual canal anatomy. Therefore, you can generally expect retreatment to cost more than the initial endodontic treatment.

While dental insurance may cover part or all the cost for retreatment, some policies limit coverage to a single procedure on a tooth in a given period of time. Check with your employer or insurance company prior to retreatment to be sure of your coverage.

What Are the Alternatives to Retreatment?

If non-surgical retreatment is not an option, then endodontic surgery should be considered. This surgery involves making an incision to allow access to the tip of the root. Endodontic surgery may also be recommended in conjunction with retreatment or as an alternative. Your endodontist will discuss your options and recommend appropriate treatment. The only other alternative is extraction of the tooth. The extracted tooth must then be replaced with a bridge, removable partial denture or implant to restore chewing function and to prevent adjacent teeth from shifting. Because these options require extensive surgery or dental procedures on adjacent healthy teeth, they can be far more costly and time consuming than retreatment and restoration of the natural tooth.

No matter how effective tooth replacements are, nothing is as good as your natural tooth. You’ve already made an investment in saving your tooth. The payoff for choosing retreatment could be a healthy, functioning natural tooth for many years to come.

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